Hearsay ... the Journal of the Bar Association of Queensland
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Issue 73 - July 2015
Book Review: Principles of International Law Print E-mail

Principles of International Law4th Edition, 2014. 

Publisher: LexisNexis Butterworths

Author: Stephen Hall 

Reviewer: Robert Quirk


Principles of International Law is clearly written to elucidate the concepts and principles of international law to students and practising lawyers. The preface states that it is also directed at anyone who wishes to develop their understanding of the rules of international law. The book addresses the needs of all of those in the target audience.

It includes chapters on: nature and sources of international law; law of treaties; international law in Australian law; statehood and personality; state responsibility and treatment of foreign nationals; state jurisdiction and immunity; state territory; international dispute resolution; international use of force; international criminal law; international human rights; and the law of the sea.

Each chapter includes clear objectives of what the chapter is intended to convey, key cases, key instruments, and a detailed discussion of the subject matter. They conclude with a fact based question, suggested answer, and matters for further tutorial discussion. The inclusion of the question and answer at the end of each chapter helps cement, for the reader, principles discussed in each chapter.

Taking the chapter on international law in Australian law as an example, after stating the learning objectives, it then states the key cases from Chung Chi Cheung v R through Mabo v Queensland (No. 2) , to Teoh , in the order that the extracts of the cases are set out in the chapter. The chapter then discusses in detail: monism and dualism; international law and the common law; international law and legislation; international law and legislative power; international law and the legislative discretion. The substantive parts of the chapter are followed by the question, suggested answer and matters for further discussion.

Principles of International Law also includes as appendices a number of the more important primary documents of international law, as well as a useful glossary. It provides a comprehensive coverage of the fundamentals of international law and, importantly, its reach into Australian law.

The book would also be an excellent reference for military lawyers.

It is recommended by this reviewer.


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